Wednesday, February 24, 2010
An excerpt from the article is below:
Martin v. Moran and Street v. Skipper are both Texas Court of Appeals cases addressing the disposition of proceeds from a community-property life insurance policy naming the insured's estate when a beneficiary other than the surviving spouse is named in the decedent's will. The two cases reach different conclusions as to the rights of the surviving spouse to the proceeds. Martin v. Moran holds that proceeds from a community-property life insurance policy payable to the estate of a spouse should, as a matter of law, be subject to a partition between the devisees named in the will and the surviving spouse. Street v. Skipper holds that when proceeds of a community-property life insurance policy are payable to the insured spouse's estate and the will names a devisee other than the surviving spouse, the surviving spouse may only recover a portion of the proceeds if the transfer results in a fraud on the community. The conflict turns on a power versus right distinction, as well as whether the issue of the surviving spouse's right to a portion of the proceeds should be settled as a matter of law or as a question of fact.